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RE: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.

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  • Eduard Alf
    Tony, i wonder about this, behave out of fear thing ... it seems to imply something terrible, like we are living in a state of fear ... traumatized by the
    Message 1 of 27 , Jun 26, 2001
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      Tony,

      i wonder about this, "behave out of fear" thing ... it seems
      to imply something terrible, like we are living in a state
      of fear ... traumatized by the thoughts of what is to come
      ... i get up early in the morning because im afraid if i
      sleep in i will get into heavier traffic on the bridge to
      Ottawa ... or i do that report because my boss will be angry
      if i dont ... but is this really the sort of "fear" that we
      seem to be talking about ...

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Tony Lea [mailto:tonylea@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 9:36 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.


      > The idea we "behave" out of fear is nothing new. Parents
      have long
      > understood that the fear of punishment is more powerful
      than the
      > punishment.

      Yes, and many children, politicians, and incarcerated
      inmates, it seems to
      me, express regret not so much because they feel or
      understand that the
      original act was morally wrong, but rather that it has
      caused them to suffer
      consequences.

      Tony
    • Tony Lea
      ... and the expression god-fearing always seems very un-Christian to me. Tony
      Message 2 of 27 , Jun 26, 2001
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        > i wonder about this, "behave out of fear" thing ...

        and the expression "god-fearing" always seems very un-Christian to me.

        Tony
      • Eduard Alf
        Tony, well, no ... i can understand the god-fearing bit ... you never know what gods got on his mind ... thats not to knock god [looking over my shoulder], but
        Message 3 of 27 , Jun 26, 2001
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          Tony,

          well, no ... i can understand the god-fearing bit ... you
          never know what gods got on his mind ... thats not to knock
          god [looking over my shoulder], but just the way it is ...

          eduard

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Tony Lea [mailto:tonylea@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 11:06 PM
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.


          > i wonder about this, "behave out of fear" thing ...

          and the expression "god-fearing" always seems very
          un-Christian to me.

          Tony
        • Tony Lea
          ... Yes, I can understand fearing the wrath of God, but when I hear the expression, it s usually used as the rationale for good or moral behaviour. From a
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 26, 2001
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            > well, no ... i can understand the god-fearing bit ... you
            > never know what gods got on his mind ... thats not to knock
            > god [looking over my shoulder], but just the way it is ...
            >
            Yes, I can understand fearing the wrath of God, but when I hear the
            expression, it's usually used as the rationale for good or moral behaviour.

            From a Christian point of view, if one sought forgiveness from God mainly
            because one feared the loss of God's love, would God accept the apology as
            true contrition?

            Tony
          • Roggles457@aol.com
            In a message dated 6/26/01 10:59:37 PM Central Daylight Time, tonylea@look.ca writes:
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 26, 2001
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              In a message dated 6/26/01 10:59:37 PM Central Daylight Time, tonylea@...
              writes:

              << Yes, I can understand fearing the wrath of God, but when I hear the
              expression, it's usually used as the rationale for good or moral behaviour.

              From a Christian point of view, if one sought forgiveness from God mainly
              because one feared the loss of God's love, would God accept the apology as
              true contrition?
              >>

              First of all, not particularly believing in the christian God, I see the
              wrath of God as being precisely used as a tool to invoke fear. Machiavelli
              once said, "It is better to be feared than loved," and in Christianity, fear
              of God sending someone straight to Hell is more of an incentive to do good
              than the "Love of God".
              Second, from a Christian point of view, standard doctrine, at least from a
              Catholic point of view, is that if one fears the loss of God's love, that
              usually implies they merely fear the consequences of losing that Love (i.e.,
              Hell). However, if they are actually "sorry" (couldn't think of a better
              word) that they lost God's love, in a similar sense to the sorrow you feel if
              a family member or a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse stopped loving you, then
              that is "true contrition" and would be accepted by God.

              But I am rambling, and probably digressed too much from my point.

              Ryan
            • Eduard Alf
              Tony, since god always forgives and the degree of his forgiveness is in relation to the error, it is better if one were to murder, rape and pillage, than to
              Message 6 of 27 , Jun 27, 2001
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                Tony,

                since god always forgives and the degree of his forgiveness
                is in relation to the error, it is better if one were to
                murder, rape and pillage, than to not put the garbage out on
                time ... i said i understood the god-fearing bit, not that i
                believed in it myself ...

                eduard

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Tony Lea [mailto:tonylea@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 11:25 PM
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.

                > well, no ... i can understand the god-fearing bit ... you
                > never know what gods got on his mind ... thats not to
                knock
                > god [looking over my shoulder], but just the way it is ...
                >
                Yes, I can understand fearing the wrath of God, but when I
                hear the
                expression, it's usually used as the rationale for good or
                moral behaviour.

                From a Christian point of view, if one sought forgiveness
                from God mainly
                because one feared the loss of God's love, would God accept
                the apology as
                true contrition?

                Tony
              • Tony Lea
                ... Machiavelli ... fear ... Machiavelli was advising the Prince that fear, in the long term, given the fickleness of the crowd, is a far more reliable emotion
                Message 7 of 27 , Jun 27, 2001
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                  >
                  > First of all, not particularly believing in the christian God, I see the
                  > wrath of God as being precisely used as a tool to invoke fear.
                  Machiavelli
                  > once said, "It is better to be feared than loved," and in Christianity,
                  fear
                  > of God sending someone straight to Hell is more of an incentive to do good
                  > than the "Love of God".

                  Machiavelli was advising the Prince that fear, in the long term, given the
                  fickleness of the crowd, is a far more reliable emotion to rely upon than
                  love. In the context of the Church as a political body, this is certainly a
                  good example and an excellent quote. But from the point of view of a
                  hypothetical Christian God, Noah, Sodom, Gomorrah, et al notwithstanding,
                  demographics really shouldn't matter (certainly in today's world "true
                  Christians" would in the minority - and I certainly wouldn't be one of
                  them).

                  in a similar sense to the sorrow you feel if
                  > a family member or a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse stopped loving you, then
                  > that is "true contrition" and would be accepted by God.

                  This is a very good point, but I think true contrition would be to mourn for
                  the other person's sake rather than for what we have lost. Or is all love
                  really flavoured by a small amount of self-love? We maybe love the other
                  person/God for the feelings they bring out in us?

                  Tony
                • Eduard Alf
                  Tony, if you read Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching, an operating principle of fear ultimately has the opposite result ... that is the crowd rebels against the power
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jun 27, 2001
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                    Tony,

                    if you read Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching, an operating principle
                    of "fear" ultimately has the opposite result ... that is the
                    crowd rebels against the power which applies the fear ...

                    i grant that "fear" as an affect, but when one initially
                    acts upon something, "fear" is the last thing on his/her
                    mind ... i think that overall, love has the greater lasting
                    power ... the quest for "love" is the higher motivator ...

                    eduard

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Tony Lea [mailto:tonylea@...]
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2001 7:14 PM
                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.

                    >
                    > First of all, not particularly believing in the christian
                    God, I see the
                    > wrath of God as being precisely used as a tool to invoke
                    fear.
                    Machiavelli
                    > once said, "It is better to be feared than loved," and in
                    Christianity,
                    fear
                    > of God sending someone straight to Hell is more of an
                    incentive to do good
                    > than the "Love of God".

                    Machiavelli was advising the Prince that fear, in the long
                    term, given the
                    fickleness of the crowd, is a far more reliable emotion to
                    rely upon than
                    love. In the context of the Church as a political body, this
                    is certainly a
                    good example and an excellent quote. But from the point of
                    view of a
                    hypothetical Christian God, Noah, Sodom, Gomorrah, et al
                    notwithstanding,
                    demographics really shouldn't matter (certainly in today's
                    world "true
                    Christians" would in the minority - and I certainly wouldn't
                    be one of
                    them).

                    in a similar sense to the sorrow you feel if
                    > a family member or a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse stopped
                    loving you, then
                    > that is "true contrition" and would be accepted by God.

                    This is a very good point, but I think true contrition would
                    be to mourn for
                    the other person's sake rather than for what we have lost.
                    Or is all love
                    really flavoured by a small amount of self-love? We maybe
                    love the other
                    person/God for the feelings they bring out in us?

                    Tony
                  • Tony Lea
                    ... As an idealistic principle, yes, and it may have its historical precedents, but sadly, in the 20th century, there were many instances where fear was quite
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jun 27, 2001
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                      > if you read Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching, an operating principle
                      > of "fear" ultimately has the opposite result ... that is the
                      > crowd rebels against the power which applies the fear ...

                      As an idealistic principle, yes, and it may have its historical precedents,
                      but sadly, in the 20th century, there were many instances where fear was
                      quite effective (Hitler, Stalin and, into this century, Saddam Hussein).
                      These men surely remained in power much longer by appealing to fear than
                      would have been the case if they had relied upon love. Hitler was defeated
                      not by his own countrymen, but by outsiders; Stalin lived a long (if
                      paranoid) life and died quietly in his sleep, and Saddam seems quite secure
                      in his position.

                      Of course these examples are isolated, but I think most "democratic" leaders
                      would agree that the crowd is too fickle for its devotion to be relied upon
                      for a very long period of time. Of course in Canada leaders rely on another
                      method of staying in office - lack of an alternative.

                      Tony
                    • Eduard Alf
                      Tony, i would not disagree that these men operated on the basis of fear ... im only saying that such a principle generates the reverse ... those who live by
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jun 27, 2001
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                        Tony,

                        i would not disagree that these men operated on the basis of
                        fear ... im only saying that such a principle generates the
                        reverse ... those who live by the sword, die by the sword
                        ... eventually the fear is so great that there is a backlash
                        ... Saddam will eventually get his ... the idea is that the
                        ruler who does not resort to fear, does not give his people
                        a reason to rise up against him ... Machiavelli gave the
                        wrong advice to his prince ...

                        eduard

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Tony Lea [mailto:tonylea@...]
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2001 8:56 PM
                        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.

                        > if you read Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching, an operating
                        principle
                        > of "fear" ultimately has the opposite result ... that is
                        the
                        > crowd rebels against the power which applies the fear ...

                        As an idealistic principle, yes, and it may have its
                        historical precedents,
                        but sadly, in the 20th century, there were many instances
                        where fear was
                        quite effective (Hitler, Stalin and, into this century,
                        Saddam Hussein).
                        These men surely remained in power much longer by appealing
                        to fear than
                        would have been the case if they had relied upon love.
                        Hitler was defeated
                        not by his own countrymen, but by outsiders; Stalin lived a
                        long (if
                        paranoid) life and died quietly in his sleep, and Saddam
                        seems quite secure
                        in his position.

                        Of course these examples are isolated, but I think most
                        "democratic" leaders
                        would agree that the crowd is too fickle for its devotion to
                        be relied upon
                        for a very long period of time. Of course in Canada leaders
                        rely on another
                        method of staying in office - lack of an alternative.

                        Tony
                      • Tony Lea
                        ... Sometimes, though, fear can lead, if not to love, at least to a twisted form of dependence. Many Russians wept hysterically at Stalin s funeral not to
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jun 27, 2001
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                          > im only saying that such a principle generates the
                          > reverse ... those who live by the sword, die by the sword
                          > ... eventually the fear is so great that there is a backlash

                          Sometimes, though, fear can lead, if not to love, at least to a twisted form
                          of dependence. Many Russians wept hysterically at Stalin's funeral not to
                          impress the KGB, but because they were terrified of the future of the USSR
                          without a "strong" man at the top.

                          It has been said (by Erich Fromm) that many people will gladly surrender the
                          freedoms (and risks) of democracy for the "stability" of totalitarian
                          dictators.

                          > ... the idea is that the
                          > ruler who does not resort to fear, does not give his people
                          > a reason to rise up against him

                          Of course in our day and age, in a democracy, the use of fear is out of the
                          question morally and logically (it would no longer be a democracy). But
                          constantly trying to please the crowd will almost inevitably lead to
                          failure. In any given situation, any decision will alienate a certain number
                          of the people, and over a period of time many such decisions will lead to
                          overall disenchantment.

                          More often, I think, brutal dictatorships lose out to a built-in weakness. A
                          government that does not place the welfare of the people first causes the
                          peoples' enthusiasm and productivity to wane and collapse. When the standard
                          of living falls to an unbearable level, the society revolts.

                          ... Machiavelli gave the
                          > wrong advice to his prince ...
                          >
                          From a modern moral/democratic standpoint, certainly. But by the standards
                          of his day and place - Florence - perhaps not. I think Hobbes over in
                          England would have disagreed with him.

                          Tony
                        • Roggles457@aol.com
                          In a message dated 6/28/01 6:02:18 AM Central Daylight Time, tonylea@look.ca writes:
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jun 28, 2001
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                            In a message dated 6/28/01 6:02:18 AM Central Daylight Time, tonylea@...
                            writes:

                            << ... Machiavelli gave the
                            > wrong advice to his prince ...
                            > >>

                            I seem to have lost the email arguing against the quote, but while in
                            Machiavelli's time, perhaps he was right, perhaps not, but God, if he were to
                            exist, would hold the ultimate wild card. Can you really revolt against an
                            invinciple, omnipotent, omniscient being? How would you go about doing that?
                            Is it even possible? Something to think about.
                            Ryan
                          • Juan Carlos
                            Hello: How can you judge if Machiavelli gave the right advice or not? Well I think he did it right the thing is that people judge too much other men s actions,
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jun 29, 2001
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                              Hello:
                              How can you judge if Machiavelli gave the right advice or not? Well I
                              think he did it right the thing is that people judge too much other men's
                              actions, remember we are different. And for his time it was right ;-)

                              Juan Carlos


                              >From: Roggles457@...
                              >Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              >To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              >Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.
                              >Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 02:09:24 EDT
                              >
                              >In a message dated 6/28/01 6:02:18 AM Central Daylight Time,
                              >tonylea@...
                              >writes:
                              >
                              ><< ... Machiavelli gave the
                              > > wrong advice to his prince ...
                              > > >>
                              >
                              >I seem to have lost the email arguing against the quote, but while in
                              >Machiavelli's time, perhaps he was right, perhaps not, but God, if he were
                              >to
                              >exist, would hold the ultimate wild card. Can you really revolt against an
                              >invinciple, omnipotent, omniscient being? How would you go about doing
                              >that?
                              > Is it even possible? Something to think about.
                              >
                              >Ryan

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                            • Tony Lea
                              ... This being a philosophy discussion list - and especially an existentialist one - anything and anybody is open for discussion/criticism. And for his time it
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jun 29, 2001
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                                > Hello:
                                > How can you judge if Machiavelli gave the right advice or not?

                                This being a philosophy discussion list - and especially an existentialist
                                one - anything and anybody is open for discussion/criticism.

                                And for his time it was right
                                >
                                I'm sure that this could also be discussed ad infinitum. Historians do it
                                all the time. Would Florence or Italy as a whole have been better off if
                                they had developed the idea of our liberal democracies instead of England?
                                Of course the cultural conditions probably wouldn't have been conducive to
                                such ideas.

                                Tony
                              • Eduard Alf
                                Ryan, yes, because there is no transcendent being to revolt against ... an immanent being or thingy, yes ... but then why revolt .. there is no issue ...
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jun 29, 2001
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                                  Ryan,

                                  yes, because there is no transcendent being to revolt
                                  against ... an immanent being or thingy, yes ... but then
                                  why revolt .. there is no issue ...

                                  eduard

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Roggles457@... [mailto:Roggles457@...]
                                  Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 2:09 AM
                                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.


                                  In a message dated 6/28/01 6:02:18 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                  tonylea@...
                                  writes:

                                  << ... Machiavelli gave the
                                  > wrong advice to his prince ...
                                  > >>

                                  I seem to have lost the email arguing against the quote, but
                                  while in
                                  Machiavelli's time, perhaps he was right, perhaps not, but
                                  God, if he were to
                                  exist, would hold the ultimate wild card. Can you really
                                  revolt against an
                                  invinciple, omnipotent, omniscient being? How would you go
                                  about doing that?
                                  Is it even possible? Something to think about.

                                  Ryan

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                                • Eduard Alf
                                  Juan, perhaps, but where is italy now ... eduard ... From: Juan Carlos [mailto:juancarloscruz@hotmail.com] Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 9:46 AM To:
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jun 29, 2001
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                                    Juan,

                                    perhaps, but where is italy now ...

                                    eduard

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Juan Carlos [mailto:juancarloscruz@...]
                                    Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 9:46 AM
                                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.


                                    Hello:
                                    How can you judge if Machiavelli gave the right advice
                                    or not? Well I
                                    think he did it right the thing is that people judge too
                                    much other men's
                                    actions, remember we are different. And for his time it was
                                    right ;-)

                                    Juan Carlos
                                  • Roggles457@aol.com
                                    yea, I agree that you can revolt since there is no actual supreme deity in my opinion, but for the purpose of the arguement I was arguing within the
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jun 30, 2001
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                                      yea, I agree that you can revolt since there is no actual supreme deity in my
                                      opinion, but for the purpose of the arguement I was arguing within the
                                      presupposition that there was a God.

                                      Ryan
                                    • Eduard Alf
                                      Ryan, i suppose on that basis, there is not much you can do ... the god can squash you like a bug .. and he/she/it would know of your revolt before you do ...
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jun 30, 2001
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                                        Ryan,

                                        i suppose on that basis, there is not much you can do ...
                                        the god can squash you like a bug .. and he/she/it would
                                        know of your revolt before you do ... could you revolt by
                                        refusing to believe in the god .. i mean by taking away the
                                        audience ...

                                        eduard

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Roggles457@... [mailto:Roggles457@...]
                                        Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 3:44 AM
                                        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [existlist] The Republic, Etc.


                                        yea, I agree that you can revolt since there is no actual
                                        supreme deity in my
                                        opinion, but for the purpose of the arguement I was arguing
                                        within the
                                        presupposition that there was a God.


                                        Ryan
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